Alex Goodman, The Royal Oak

I hope everyone enjoyed a very Merry Christmas! At our Christmas Quiz we had a great night, “Bah-Humbug” won the jackpot with an impressive performance of 53 points out of 60 and they donated some of their winnings to St Michael’s Hospice. This in addition to the raffle that we held raised over £90 for this worthwhile local charity. I shall be able to report back on the rest of the festivities at the pub in a couple of weeks.

Tonight (Friday 27th) is Irish Music Night at The Royal Oak from 8.30pm, so come and enjoy the last session of Traditional Irish Tunes of the year. It is sure to be busy during this holiday period, so if you would like to reserve a table, please call 01424 870492.

The New Year’s Eve party theme at the pub this year is “Beach Party” and we will have the usual fun and games, so if you would like to spend an evening in your local pub without being charged an entry fee or for a ticket, just come along! For any further details, please call 01424 870492.

Valerie Bennett provides the following: “Last week’s Christmas meal and concert at Mountfield & Whatlington CE School was a great success and I was lucky enough to be invited. The hall tables were all laid out with red tablecloths and table mats made by the children. We were then served the Christmas dinner followed by either chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce or Christmas pudding and Brandy Sauce. Being a traditionalist I chose the pudding. The children then went back to their classroom and watched a DVD, giving all, but those on duty, and visitors a chance to have a cup of tea and a chat. We then went back to the hall to settle down for the Christmas concert, which involved all the children dressed in their various costumes. The children first went through each letter of the alphabet linking the letter with what happens at Christmas, very clever. The children read poems and a prayer they had written themselves. There were two recorder solo’s- Jungle Bells and Hot Cross buns, playing on your own to an audience is quite daunting but they both did well. Carols which we all joined in for some of the verses and a lovely rendering at the end of ‘ We wish you a merry Christmas’, this was sung with great gusto and arm actions. The twenty five minutes of the concert went by so quickly and judging by the applause during and at the end the concert was enjoyed by everyone. We then had leaving presentations for Jan Rawles, Rosemary Carter and Anna Saunters, all school staff who have now retired. They all have had a long association with the school with all their children having attended the school and with Anna even being a pupil.. This part of the afternoon was tinged with a little sadness. All in all this was a great start to my festivities but the children had already started theirs the day before going to the White Rock pantomime and a visit to MacDonald’s.”

Chairman of the Parish Council, Roger Fisher reminds you that “The Village Hall Management committee is still seeking volunteers. A reminder - the public meeting that will decide the future of this community facility will take place in the hall at 1900hrs Thursday 16th Jan.” This is the opportunity for you to have a say in the how the Village Hall will be managed and run in the future, and I would urge you to go along and perhaps get involved if you would like this facility to remain open for us all to enjoy in the future.

If you have any news for this column, please email info@royaloak-whatlington.co.uk.